March 15, 2017
This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
When I first began volunteering at the Museum about 7 years ago, there were two words I didn’t know and even had difficulty pronouncing. The words were “accessioning” and “deaccessioning”. Thankfully, Gaylynn Childs, who was then our Executive Director, helped me with both the pronunciation and definition of these words. These words are unique to curators and their work. There is often limited space to store items in a Museum and ours is no different. So… in our case the Curator and two members of the Geary County Historical Society meet on an as needed basis to consider items donated or on loan to the Museum. Since our focus is on Geary County history, it is important that the items be either from this area or have significance to this county. “Accessioning” then is about acquiring those items that meet the criteria of having been created or used in Geary County, have a direct connection with historical events in Geary County or which have a direct connection with residents of the county. The items may be from all time periods, they must be in good condition, be well documented by the donor and be needed in the Museum’s collection to fill a gap and not be viewed as adding excessive duplication to the current collection. “Deaccessioning” is the term used when it is determined that there is a need to remove items from holdings by the Museum. The items may be returned to the owner or person who made the donation, be destroyed or see the item or items may be sold.